Giants’ star running back trending up for Week 5 return

NFL: NFC Divisional Round-New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles, saquon barkley
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The New York Giants are gearing up for a challenging Week 5 showdown against a formidable Miami Dolphins team. While the Dolphins tasted defeat against the Buffalo Bills in Week 4, their roster stands superior to that of the Giants. Five games into the regular season, the Giants seem to be struggling to find their footing.

The road to recovery looks steep for the Giants, especially with the looming prospect of two competitive matchups against elite teams. Coach Brian Daboll is well aware that his team needs to step up their game. However, with a battered offensive line, the odds of bouncing back are looking slim.

Injury Concerns

The injury list for the Giants doesn’t make for pleasant reading. Star left tackle Andrew Thomas is expected to sit out his fourth game in a row. Rookie center John Michael-Schmitz is also likely on the sidelines due to a shoulder injury. Tight end Daniel Bellinger is dealing with a low-grade MCL sprain. To add to the woes, star running back Saquon Barkley is still working his way back from a high ankle sprain.

There’s a glimmer of hope regarding Barkley’s return against Miami. He had a promising practice session on Wednesday, showing increased agility and participating in some team drills. However, the following days will be crucial in determining his readiness.

Given the Dolphins’ strong form, the Giants might contemplate taking a conservative approach, perhaps resting Barkley for an additional week, with sights set on the upcoming Buffalo Bills game. If things align, the Giants might have Thomas, JMS, and Barkley back together, but they could be staring at a 1–4 record by then, with their playoff dreams dwindling.

A Rocky Road Ahead for the Giants

The recent loss to the Seattle Seahawks, a game with significant Wild Card implications, has put the Giants in a tight spot. Their upcoming schedule is no cakewalk. After the games against Miami and Buffalo, they’ll be squaring off against the Washington Commanders, New York Jets, and Las Vegas Raiders. While the Giants have had their moments against Washington in the past, the Commanders have upped their game, evident from their nail-biter against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Realistically, even the return of their star, Saquon Barkley, might not be enough to salvage the Giants’ season. The whispers around the league suggest that the Giants might be contenders for a top pick in the 2024 NFL draft, potentially eyeing a fresh quarterback option.

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